Hella Mail From Jail
Dimensions: 36 x 48 in
The piece is an ode to my uncle currently locked up on a life sentence and the solitary confinement he has been subject to since he's been in prison beginning in 2002. Throughout his trial, sentencing, and years behind bars he has maintained his innocence regarding the case, requesting that my mother assist him with getting appeals on his behalf. During his stay, he has been in and out of solitary confinement for long periods of time. The months to years in confinement have left a severe and damaging effect on his mental health and he is now on suicide watch. He has been diagnosed with a number of disorders such as schizophrenia with psychotic features, bipolar, borderline, etc.
I created this piece to show the complexities of how one's mind is destroyed after doing such long stints in solitary confinement. The piece includes excerpts from my uncle's recent letters, highlighted phrases in oil pastels, and my depiction of the inner mental turmoil that my uncle goes through at the hands of solitary confinement. The US deems solitary confinement constitutional yet the United Nations state that confinement is a means of torture. I feel as though there should be more awareness and conversations surrounding this prevalent means of punishment and protection of inmates, recognizing that the negative consequences of solitary confinement far outweigh any temporary resolution for issues in the prison system.